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Sean_A

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ROYAL PORTHCAWL GC: 2021-22 Winter Tour New
« on: September 20, 2010, 05:16:35 AM »


Like so many courses, Porthcawl was originally a 9 holer which later saw nine holes added. This early configuration was unsatisfactory, hence in 1895 the club left the original Charles Gibson nine holes for the ladies and Ramsey Hunter added nine holes.  Despite obtaining Royal status in 1909 the membership wished to see the course improve; enter HS Colt.  Colt radically redesigned Porthcawl in 1912-13.  Bernard Darwin was quite taken by the changes and cited 3, 5 and 9 for particular attention.  Interestingly, there is some question as to Coltís involvement for the third hole.  The club believes Colt created eight new holes which essentially define the routing; 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 18.  Since that time 8 and 14 have been altered.  We know Simpson altered the 8th, but it isnít clear who worked on the 14th.   

Led by Bernard Darwin as the Chairman, the R&A investigated the possibility of Porthcawl hosting an Open and with this in mind the club called in Simpson to make changes in 1933. While the changes were many and serious, the routing was left in place with a few minor alterations. New tees were created for 1-4 and 9 with some bunkers filled-in.  New green sites were used for 1-3, 5-6, 7-8, 10, 16 & 17.  The 6th green was altered for a dogleg left approach.  The 12th was re-routed using the old 8th green.  Amazingly, the work was completed in a few months with the course being ready to host the 1934 British Womenís Open.  A 1933 Simpson plan of the course shows a radically different bunker scheme, but a routing which is essentially in place today.   I might add that it is thought the 7th is a Simpson original.  Below is Simpson's course map.


K Cotton altered Simpson's 8th and12th.  The 8th now uses a green site quite close to the original Colt green near the wall.  In recent years the tee was moved well away from the 7th to create a dogleg left, essentially around the wall.  Which meant the 12th green was moved right and was fairly recently extended.  The 13th too was altered to leg right.  This terrific hole now legs left, but uses Simpsonís green. Simpsonís blind double dogleg 17th was also altered.  I believe the fairway is oriented more to the right to take advantage of a fall-off and create a sweeping turn left.  However, I am more intrigued by the changes made to the 14th and who was responsible as this is easily Porthcawlís best short hole.  I believe some greens were recently altered by M Ebert, but I don't know the details.

Many will notice the majestic building sitting adjacent to the course.  The Rest Convalescent Home was established in 1862 for the working classes, particularly coal miners.  Early patients included survivors of the Tynewydd Colliery disaster in which a flood killed several men and trapped others for 10 days.  The celebrated social reformer, Florence Nightingale, is thought to have supported and worked at the home.  Sadly, the home closed in 2013 and was converted into luxury seaside apartments.

The clubhouse too is rather unusual in a very homey way.  The temporary building used to house workers for Queen Victoriaís Diamond Jubilee held in 1897; the first time diamond was used in the context of a 60th anniversary.  The building was dismantled and rebuilt at Porthcawl.  Much like the Monarchy, the building (with its many extensions!) has admirably stood the test of time and tempestuous storms.  The same cannot be said for the proshop.  The building was blown to splinters across the car park by a memorable 1990 winter gale! 






The lockeroom is in the same vein.


A few reminders of the Porthcawl's tournament history. The club hosted, seven Amateurs, a Walker Cup, three Ladies British Opens and a plethora of professional events including two Senior Opens.

Tiger's Walker Cup caddie bib.



 
The opening three holes head in a north-westerly direction and are in close proximity to the beach.   Into a head wind these can all be challenging holes, especially #s 2 & 3.  The first hole crosses the 18th to a fairway with a pronounced right to left tilt.  The bunkers down the left work very well for the back tee as it sits hard on the beach. 
   

Pam Barton playing from the original tee.


It is a pity erosion and the coastal walk make it difficult to maintain daily tees near the beach because it would be wonderful if one or two of the these opening holes could present a different angle tee shot.  However, I am not certain the second needs any additional challenge.  At 410 yards into the wind this hole is more testing than most can handle.


Somewhat similar to the second, #3 plays blindly over a hill.  Below is the approach.


The plateau green rises a bit more sharply than it seems from the fairway.


We now turn east for the short 4th; a well conceived hole which allows a run-up shot, but the cover distance must be accurate.  In the past few years it seems like the club is experimenting with more natural bunker shapes and surrounding vegetation.  The short 4th is an obvious example of such. Front and rear of the green.


The first par 5 reminds me a lot of Gullane #1's second hole except I think the concept works better as a reachable par 5 with the penalty for erring left being out of bounds.  Playing uphill and often downwind, this hole has the effect of flattening (especially long) approaches and perhaps leaving the golfer with a terribly slippery downhill putt.  Both this hole and the 9th were altered by effectively creating tiers to offset the the heavily sloped back to front greens. Interestingly, the wings of this green used to be much more pronounced, but I don't know who flattened them.  Perhaps more radically, recent additional fairway bunkers have dramatically narrowed the tee shot. The approach.


Right of the green.


Behind the green.


Porthcawl has fully transitioned to the high, flatter section of the property for #6.  Still heading in an easterly direction, but with a more pronounced dogleg left than #5, the golfer must decide to either challenge the pinching bunkers in the drive zone or lay-up and accept a less than ideal angle for the approach.  The tee seen in the foreground is for #10. 


As on the previous six holes, the short 7th continues hugging the boundary line on the left, but turns in a southerly direction.  The hole stands in complete contrast to its surrounds with rounded mounds and heavy bunkering.  Perhaps the hand of man is too obvious?


Rear of green.


The second par 5 turns more or less west and once again features an uphill approach with a boundary wall on the left deceptively close to fairway and green. Even from this area of the course, the sea remains in sight. 


One of the standout holes, the sublime ninth once again turns direction.  This dogleg left is the first hole without a boundary on the left, but no matter, being left is as good as dead.   


One can see that approaching from this angle with the wind off the left is no easy task.  The full impact of the new bunkering can be fully appreciated on this hole.  While one can debate if bunkers belong on the face of the ridge, there can be no argument that the new bunker visually works far better than the pot which previously existed.


A closer look at the green. In addition to several new bunkers, the club has introduced waste areas. The rear of the green used to be a scrubby area of gorse.


I cannot help but think that the many downhill drives and uphill approaches are a consequence of Colt's changes because the look is so similar to many other Colt courses.   In any case, #10 drops from a reasonable elevation then heads slightly back uphill.  However, the stand-out feature of the hole is the left to right green with protecting bunkers both left and right.   Disappointingly, the newish back portion of the green was recently removed.  By the way, yes, the 10th changes direction (west) yet again. 


Behind the green.


Another solid short hole, the 11th features a plateau green resting in the lee of a hill which will often play downwind.  Don't ask, just look at the above map to see the change of direction! 


The blind three-shotter 12th plays uphill for the tee shot.  New bunkers visible on the horizon provide some definition.  Also, a new waste area was added in front of the tee. If laying up, the second may be thought of as bland, but getting in the correct position for (what should be) the short approach is critical.  This new green is slightly raised and angles to the back right. 

We now hit a run of holes which is the highlight of Porthcawl as all three are All-Wales candidates.  13 turns back on the 12th and doglegs left toward the beach between a hollow left and a deep recessed bunker right. 


The par 3 14th is an outstanding short hole and may be Porthcawl's best.






The course unfairly has a reputation for 12 lower holes on classic links and six higher holes on less than ideal land.  All of Porthcawl's land is good for golf and that is self-evident.  The vicious 15th is one of Porthcawl's strongest holes and highlights how much elevation change there is and how often it occurs throughout the round.


Among the final four holes are three two-shotters whose fairways are broken by severe features that will often force a layup; 15 & 16 leave blind approaches.  The 16th heads back up the drop off that was descended on the previous hole.  The cross bunkers in the face of the incline (~260 yards out) are very reachable. 


The drive on the penultimate hole is not unlike that of the 12th.  It is uphill and blind.  It is best to stay right for the optimal approach angle, but a sandy waste lurks in the right wing.  The safer tee shot used to be to the left, but similar to 5 & 6, a new bunker was added to narrow the drive zone. While very reachable and somewhat troublesome because of the left to right tilted green, the 17th isn't quite satisfying.

The home hole is somewhat controversial due the downhill fairway being broken up with rough ground. Perhaps this is a reasonable criticism given 15 & 16, however, the stunning backdrop and three tier front to back green more than make up for this perceived design fault. 




An old aerial of the 18th green.


It is always fun to revisit a course after many years and see how one's impressions have changed.  This visit certainly made me sit up and take notice of Royal Porthcawl yet again.  Despite a general feeling of the course reminding me of bits and pieces of several championship courses such as Portrush, Muirfield, Formby etc (a re-occuring theme for Colt involved courses), Porthcawl does retain a sense of place which is of itself.  The case is made more succinct considering Porthcawl has hosted many prestigious events over many decades. However, perhaps more importantly, it is the details provided by a dedicated membership which hits squarely home.  2*  2022


Ciao
« Last Edit: July 29, 2022, 02:47:02 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong Again - Royal Porthcawl
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 06:01:10 AM »
Thanks Sean - Porthcawl exceeded my expectations quite considerably... The green complexes and the undulation on some of the approaches were fantastic... As was the turf and I liked the routing a lot too...

It seemed to me that a few things have changed from the Simpson course and it appears many of the changes were done by David Williams in 2006... A completely new 12th green was built - I like that one quite a bit... The 8th tees were moved... And Tony - you were right... That back portion of the tenth green was added...

It's a fairly different bunkering scheme and style as well from that Simpson plan...

Great to meet those I did, however briefly... Nice to share in a halved match with Philip, Bill and Jason...

Melvyn Morrow

Re: The Yank Was Wrong Again - Royal Porthcawl
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 06:40:59 AM »

Having just looked at the Harbor Shores photos, and now The Royal Porthcawl, is it me or does the Links course photographs just ooze freshness. God, how I miss those Links courses.

I am so tempted to consider using a cart to play again but the experience would be tainted and would come back to haunt me. Principles sacrificed leaving me no better than a Junky who would be willing to sell his soul to anyone for one more fix.

Great photos Sean, the pull of Links golf is so strong and your photos that clear that I swear I can feel the cool salty sea breeze upon my face.

As I said, I really do miss links golf. :'(

Melvyn


Jim McCann

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong Again - Royal Porthcawl
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 07:51:24 AM »
Melvyn,

Nothing vexes me more when out on a course than to see another able bodied golfer
driving around in a buggy  :'(  - EXCEPT when it's obvious that the other person is only
able to go chasing the wee white ball because they have such transport at their disposal.

That's when a broad smile crosses my face to know the game still means so much to that
golfer that they'll do whatever it takes to get them out there.  ;)

If infirmity, disability or whatever is holding you or anybody back then for God's sake swallow
your pride and do what's necessary to keep playing the game. It's surely better to do that
than to suffer the mental torture of not being able to play?  ???

In fact, do it in style - take a golfing chauffeur to do the driving, allowing you to fully
concentrate on the golf!  :)       

Melvyn Morrow

Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 09:05:53 AM »

Jim

Thank you for your words of wisdom, but I realised that the Game was only important if played it in its time honoured way. Itís a walking thinking game and thatís how I will play or not as the case may be. I have too much respect plus history with the game to be seen as aiding the cancer that is killing the traditions of the game.

Having said that I would not want to see this topic hijacked onto a cart/ distance discussion.

The fun and beauty of a links course, yes even a Welsh course is still worthy of detailed debate and if we throw in the interest of playing Links courses we should be able stay on topic.

Just looked at another of Seanís photos and swear that I felt some moisture, wonder if it came from the tops of the waves, or has it just started to rain in the photos? Whatever, those photos are heart-warming in a cool refreshing way that just shouts Walking Golf.

Melvyn


Carl Nichols

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 09:20:16 AM »
Sean:
Thanks, as always, for the photo tour.  What is the big building off in the distance in your picture of the 16th green? 

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 09:31:32 AM »
Sean:
Thanks, as always, for the photo tour.  What is the big building off in the distance in your picture of the 16th green?  

Carl,

I believe that was originally a miner's rest home and is now simply a rest home for allcomers... From Bill's caddy called Barry

Ally

Ryan Farrow

Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 09:41:48 AM »
Looks great, just wish the fairway lines weren't so defined....... and so straight....

just a minor visual gripe.... is it noticeable or distracting in person...... ? Also not a big fan of the up and back mowing patter here, or seeing mowing patterns at all on links courses.

Shouldn't the rabbits being mowing the fairways?

I'm sorry, just jealous.

mike_malone

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 10:33:18 AM »
 Sean,

     It takes a good man to admit his mistakes. When I saw you last year after playing Porthcawl and you put it down I just thought you were a little off. My feeling is that it had the best set of par fours I have ever played. Now you need to come back to Rolling Green to straigthen out your thinking about it.
AKA Mayday

JNC Lyon

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 12:00:34 PM »
Sean, I'm starting to notice a pattern with your opinions on great golf courses.  You will play across once and post a phenomenal picture review, but you will conclude that the course is good but flawed in multiple spots.  Then, you will return at a later date, snap photos in wonderment, and return here to redact your old opinions.  The course is really quite good, and it's easy to miss many things on the first play.  You did it with Yeamans Hall.  You did it with Deal.  Now it's Porthcawl!

Moral of the story: you cannot properly judge a course without multiple plays.
  8) ;D
"That's why Oscar can't see that!" - Philip E. "Timmy" Thomas

Sean_A

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 12:53:36 PM »
Looks great, just wish the fairway lines weren't so defined....... and so straight....

just a minor visual gripe.... is it noticeable or distracting in person...... ? Also not a big fan of the up and back mowing patter here, or seeing mowing patterns at all on links courses.

Shouldn't the rabbits being mowing the fairways?

I'm sorry, just jealous.


Ryan

Yes, as always, the straight mowing lines aren't attractive, but as you say its a minor quibble. 

JNC

To be fair, I always thought highly of Deal and Yeamans only the more recent visits revealed (as they should) more interesting aspects of the designs.  However, neither really captured my golfing soul and I think why has been made clear.  Porthcawl really turned my head because of the width off the tee, ever changing wind direction and elevation changes.  Just a really well thought out routing which belies the myth that very fine courses can't be built by committee (as it were). 

I would also say opinions on courses are subject to change without notice and it is always more pleasant to be more impressed by a design on subsequent visits than the other way round.  :D

Ciao 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 04:50:50 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 03:48:50 PM »
"It is always fun to revisit a course after many years and see how one's impressions have changed or not.  This visit certainly made me sit up and take notice of Royal Porthcawl!"

I'd be interested, Sean - what do you think happened in the intervening years to make you now better able to appreciate Porthcawl?

Peter 

Paul Nash

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2010, 04:06:47 PM »
Nice photos Sean - I really enjoyed my one visit to Porthcawl - it is a great design and lovely location. I have a vivid memory of standing on 11 with a big wind behind wondering how to take enough club to clear the bunkers yet stop it on the green - needless to say I failed!

Philip Gawith

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2010, 05:00:41 PM »
Here are a few pictures to add to the joy - they were mostly taken a bit earlier in the day than Sean's hence the better light, and the weather was also a bit brighter.












































Kevin Pallier

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2010, 07:51:17 PM »
Sean

Thanks for the photo tour - I have an affinity for Porthcawl and will venture back there next time I'm visiting relatives nearby. For mine Royal St David's doesn't have the consistent quality that RP has.

I thoroughly recommend one stay at the dormie house when there - you feel a world away.

On a windy day - I think RP is much more enjoyable to play than a benign one and love the little changes in direction.

James Boon

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2010, 03:19:10 AM »
Sean (and Philip),

Thanks for posting these pictures! I'll add a few of my own when I've uploaded them...

I think the tee beside the beech on the first hole isn't used much because of the proximity of walkers along the beech, rather than any erosion issues, but I could be wrong?

Sean,

I find it interesting that you mention Porthcawl having a sense of place, as for me this was the one thing lacking, and I suspect I'm in a minority here?  ::)

I really enjoyed the two rounds but at the time there seemed to be something lacking and I couldn't put my finger on it. Looking back at these pictures and thinking back over the holes, its a damn fine collection: I love the drive on 1, the new green on 2, 4 is a great par 3, love the uphill approach to 5, actually liked the dinky little 7th even if the mounds around the green where a touch OTT, 9 is probably my favourite hole of the lot, 11 is another great par 3, the new green on 12 is also excellent, 13 a great downhill approach shot, 14 another great par 3, 15 probably the toughest hole but also a great one, etc etc.

However, the closing 3 holes didn't do anything for me, neither did the uphill blind drives on 12 and 17, and I usually like blind shots? And there just seemed to be something missing, to tie it all together? So all I can figure is that its an excellent golf course but just lacking in its own "spirit of place"? Or then again, maybe all I need to do is leave it a few years and head back and then I'll love it...  ;D

I should add to Kevin's comment that the dormey house is a great place to stay, and a few late night ales in the older part of the clubhouse is an excellent experience!

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Ben Stephens

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2010, 03:31:22 AM »

I really enjoyed the two rounds but at the time there seemed to be something lacking and I couldn't put my finger on it. Looking back at these pictures and thinking back over the holes, its a damn fine collection: I love the drive on 1, the new green on 2, 4 is a great par 3, love the uphill approach to 5, actually liked the dinky little 7th even if the mounds around the green where a touch OTT, 9 is probably my favourite hole of the lot, 11 is another great par 3, the new green on 12 is also excellent, 13 a great downhill approach shot, 14 another great par 3, 15 probably the toughest hole but also a great one, etc etc.


Boony,

2 is the original green - the green on the right was an alternative green and I cant really remember it being there on my previous visit 7 yrs ago. I thought 8 was a great hole - it is a par 4 of the championship tees and par 5 for members. 12 is a new hole I think it needs 2 or 3 more bunkers to make it visually more appealing.

Cheers
BB

Sean_A

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2010, 03:39:23 AM »
Boony

By sense of place I meant that the course is easily identifiable by its surrounds.  The holes themselves most definitely give me a mild impression of been there done that and this is slightly jarring.  I suggested that this could be the Colt influence.  Once one plays enough Colt input courses he should get a sense of deja vu.  Of course, this is a by product of being so successful and likely using the same construction firm for so many of his courses.  In a way its a shame because if we didn't travel as much this sense of "I saw that before" would not be so prevalent.  To me, the bottom line is the land and/or the design isn't singular enough to place Porthcawl among my favourites, but it is an excellent design.  This was the idea I was trying to convey to Ian Andrew when we had the discussion about Pennard.  He thought a good archie would get more out of that land whereas I thought an achie like Colt would likely have given us another Colt course rather than a one-off Pennard.  I much prefer to have the one-off because there is plenty of Colt (and Colt influenced) out there, but only one Pennard. 

All that said, at the moment I am inclined to have another look at Porthcawl.  I was so impressed by the great use of wind and how elevation changes coupled with the wind that I would like to see the course with the wind from another direction.  Unlike many links I had a hard time visualizing how the holes would play with a different wind. 

Ben

Yes, the only part of the 12th I like is the green!     

Philip

I really like your photo of the fifth looking back to the tee.  Cheers.

Mayday

Yes, I would like to see RG again if I ever make it back to Philly.  That is if some of the trees are cleared!!!

Pietro

I am not sure how I have changed other than being 10 years older since I likely last saw Porthcawl.  I know the haircut is the same!

Ciao 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 05:46:00 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

James Boon

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2010, 03:57:14 AM »
Sean,

When I was thinking "Sense of Place" and Porthcawls lack of it, I was thinking that the sense of the holes all having a "been there played that" feel and this meant it didn't have its own clear character or sense of place. Probably best not to go into a deep discussion about Genius Loci and phoneomenology this early in the mroning, but we might actually be thinking along similar lines...

So yes, after playing Portcawl and Pennard both twice, I still feel I'd rather play Pennard again as its a one off where as if I want to go and play a course with yet another excellent set of Colt par 3s the choice is endless.

Ben,

So they built an alternate green for the 2nd hole and then discarded it?

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Andy Levett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2010, 04:50:17 AM »
For me Pennard, which will no doubt get discussed on its own thread, was the main draw as I expected Porthcawl to be a typical tough "championship" course. So with slightly lowered expectations I was blown away by Porthcawl - as good as any I've played and I can't fault it, though it's a shame the old third tee to the left of the second green was lost to erosion - the old tee shot must have been not unlike the first at Machrihanish.
I agree with Kevin it's comfortably better than Royal St David's.
Perhaps fear of future erosion was the reason for the new, unused,  second green being constructed. Or maybe they need it because the old second green gets covered in sand during storms?

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2010, 05:15:04 AM »
At a guess, I'd say safety issues have had a large influence on the thinking with the first tees, second tees and third tees being removed from the coastline - there was a new public footpath just constructed over the boundary fence... I wonder how much the coastline has eroded in the last 70 years - It would be interesting to find out. I should have looked at the old 1968 overhead in the locker room more closely.

The second green probably has a new temporary replacement due to damage from salt and sand spray... Will be a shame though if it's needed too often... That green (and its approach) was the single best thing I liked about the course... Fantastic... And I actually preferred the position of the tees inland on the second as it shaped the hole up nicely with the tee shot to be aimed over the right fairway bunker and the fairway then tumbling down left towards the sea...

Ben Stephens

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2010, 09:45:44 AM »
James,

It does look like the alternative green at the second is discarded - I am not too sure if the shallow banking around the green was there originally - it could have been put there to stop the sand directly getting on the green.

In the Wales Senior Open event - the left tee was used on the 1st hole.

Ally,

The beach tee for the third hole was in between the 2 greens on the 2nd it looks like it has been discarded.

I am hoping that Tony M has taken a pic of the 1968 aerial image.


Cheers
BB
 

Sean_A

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 10:04:04 AM »
Sean,

When I was thinking "Sense of Place" and Porthcawls lack of it, I was thinking that the sense of the holes all having a "been there played that" feel and this meant it didn't have its own clear character or sense of place. Probably best not to go into a deep discussion about Genius Loci and phoneomenology this early in the mroning, but we might actually be thinking along similar lines...

So yes, after playing Portcawl and Pennard both twice, I still feel I'd rather play Pennard again as its a one off where as if I want to go and play a course with yet another excellent set of Colt par 3s the choice is endless.

Ben,

So they built an alternate green for the 2nd hole and then discarded it?

Cheers,

James

Boony

Speaking of "phoneomenology", I can only hazard a guess at what Wittgenstein would have to say. 

We are likely agreeing.  The one aspect of Porthcawl's holes that really hits home as Porthcawl are the opening three holes and the finisher...as seen from the proshop or first tee.  Once on the first three holes they don't strike me as particularly as "Porthcawl", but the finisher does. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Mark Chaplin

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2010, 10:08:02 AM »
Has RP hosted 6 Amateurs and a Walker Cup because the events are shared around the home unions and there is little quality and easily accessible links golf in Wales? Whilst a very fine course I believe it punches above it's weight because it is in Wales.
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Mark Pearce

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Re: The Yank Was Wrong... Again - ROYAL PORTHCAWL
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2010, 11:04:04 AM »
Chappers,

I'm sure that's right but it doesn't mean that Porthcawl is any less of a course (or club) because of it.  If in England or Scotland it would comfortably still sit in a group of second tier links courses, just behind the very best.  For me that puts it in the same company as Hoylake, Deal, Troon, S&A etc.  (please note I said the same company, on the less than scientific GCA popular 10 play test I'd have Deal winning 7-3 or 6-4, I think).

I'd also like to comment on the staff.  We didn't have a link with the club but on the Thuursday night they kept the bar open for at leat 90 minutes after they had originally intended to close.  On Friday night my memory is blurred but we were still going and they were still smiling after 1am.  Not as charming (or pleasant on the eye) as Laura, of course, but a notable performance nonetheless.
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